Borderline Personality Disorder and Addiction

Borderline Personality Disorder and Addiction

Borderline personality disorder is a personality disorder that involves symptoms, like a history of intense short-lived relationships, hyper-emotionality (sharp mood-swings), self-harm (suicidal ideation, suicide attempts, or cutting), and an intense fear of abandonment.

These individuals struggle with the intensity of their emotions and their fears, making them more vulnerable to the development of addiction. Losing a relationship, experiencing a depressive swing, or even wanting to manipulate another person can lead the borderline individual to fall into addiction.

In the Utah rehab center where I work as a dual-diagnosis therapist, we see borderline patients on a regular basis, as it is quite common with addiction. The problem is, however, that borderline personality disorder is resistant to treatment.

The therapeutic relationship with the client is often strained, as the client experiences intense changes of feelings toward the therapist. For example, for a time, the individual may look to the therapist as a mentor, a guide, and a friend. But if the therapist challenges some mistaken thinking or unhealthy behavior in the client, he or she, fearing abandonment, may suddenly lash out and behave as though he or she hates the therapist.

This pattern is also seen in the family and love relationships, with a borderline patient. So family needs to be educated on the disorder and be offered treatment as well.

Borderline personality disorder can be treated, for addiction, but it may be a longer-term treatment plan than someone who does not have the disorder. The cooperation of family, with the therapist, and the client’s willingness to learn and to change will determine the success or failure of treatment. Call us today 1-877-593-6777 to find out more about getting help for yourself or someone you love.

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